Hello everyone! With the holiday season upon us, we're curious to know what aspects of this time give you anxiety. Is it the pressure of finding the perfect gifts, the challenge of balancing family expectations, or perhaps the stress of hosting events?

#1

All family get togethers give me anxiety and PTSD. My former sister in law used to OD every family get together when I was a kid up until my brother left her when I was in my early 20's. (I am in my late 50's now.)
So every holiday we had to perform CPR and call 911 when Debbie downed all the pills and alcohol she was able to beg, borrow or steal for that particular occasion.
Now I get anxious if anyone has a drink or even acts a bit tired at any get together. I don't host holiday get togethers. I don't celebrate most holidays in anyway.

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Frances Pitchoune
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don't know why you were downvoted, but I'm voting for you. I hope things are better for you now.

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#3

Buying gifts/making gifts. I don't have a job since I'm in school and my parents don't want to drive me, so I handmake most gifts. I need one for my mom, my dad, my grandparents, my other set of grandparents, my boyfriend, my best friend, and my friend who I picked for Secret Santa. It's a LOT of stress, especially with the "end of semester shitload" (a ton of homework at the end of the semester) and my taekwondo classes.

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#4

The whole material energy about Christmas time. Our society has turned Christmas into a stress-inducing, gotta think of a present to buy for everyone, people-driving-like-maniacs buying last-minute gifts circus. It's supposed to be the celebration of Jesus being born. For a few years now I've been trying to get my family to skip gifts and just have a nice time together, counting our blessings. I almost have everyone on board for next year.

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Glen Ellyn
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I was SO relieved when I finally didn't have to buy Christmas gifts. What a relief. Now I have nine grandchildren, but a few years ago I came up with the idea to give each of them a subscription to a magazine (they all love to read). I have a spreadsheet to keep up with who's getting what. But every year about this time, I ask what they'd like during the next year. They get to pick (with parents' approval). The only caveat is it's a mess dealing with so many magazines that have auto-renew. Just stop it, especially with children's magazines - they DO grow out of them, you know. 🙄🤦🏻‍♀️

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#5

"...all I want for Christmasss, is youuuuuu..." My fingers started bleeding just typing that.

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#6

Working in retail.

I had one Christmas where I was so busy with customers, I wasn't able to able to finish my morning coffee. Heck, I didn't eat a thing until 4 PM that day.

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#7

My main anxiety is am I good enough, I had a tricky childhood. Mother was a narcissist and was cruel. No contact 5 years. So now I'm a mum to 4. I struggle to make sure I do everything I can to make their special day special. Its hard as I work nights and have very limited child free time and next to no support. Youngest is 2. Eldest 13. Really struggle. And don't get paid again before Xmas and I feel like I'm drowning. I just want to make it special. But it's soo hard. Kids dad decided he isn't paying matinence anymore (he isn't seeing them because he is abusive so refuses to pay) I'm all they have and I really want to make it special x

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Lucy Bingham
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You sound like a great mom who really loves her kids. As long as you continue to show this love and work so hard for them they will see that and feel loved. That's the best thing a child can feel, and what they will remember when they grow up. Girl, do what your finances allow this Christmas, you're a fantastic mom.

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#8

I’ve always had this feeling of not belonging or fitting in around the holidays. Everything feels so forced and fake to me. I’m still trying to embrace them and make the most out of them.

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Nice Beast Ludo
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's my favorite part about choosing my own family. No fake b******t. We make our own tradition. Thanksgiving is not the shitshow at my mother's house anymore where she stresses herself sick over seating arrangements for 40 people and the whole day is hell over this big, fake sit down dinner no one wants to be at. Now my traditions are to buy dinner with all the fixings and a shitload of snacks. Then we get up at 6 am to put the turkey in. Then we wake up 3 hours later to the smell of glorious turkey and watch the Macy's parade while spending the whole day cooking and snacking. Then we set up buffet style, get stoned as hell and pig out while watching Christmas movies. Best holiday ever. And I still cook enough for 20 people but that's to make sure I get alll the leftovers. There was never keftovers at my mom's...freaking vultures took it all with them. Christmas and Easter are similar. We stay home and do what we want.

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#9

Decorating in a cat proof way. Very limiting

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Abbelius
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Can vouch. Put up the tree last night. Thank goodness I didn't get around to decorating it yet because it was taken down due to pet shenanigans.

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#10

The food I have to prepare, the whole decoration thing, unwanted calls of very distant relatives and celebrating the 5th year without my dog. I really hate holidays ... :/

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#11

Knowing all the days afterwards when people ask how my holidays were, it's inappropriate to say, "I sat in my apartment, sad and lonely. How were yours?"

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Ael
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh, you poor thing! Please, don't sit at home. Often there are neighbourhood social gatherings, held by churches, social services, or foodbanks. It might feel horrible to go and sit "with the other lonelies" but I promise, it will be better than be alone against your will. Wishing you all the best.

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#12

Family gatherings. I am really antisocial.

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UnseeJuiceWitch (any pronouns)
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

yep same its always (deadname) come say hello to your cousins uncles brothers grandfather or smthing

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#14

The food I have to prepare all by myself, and the traditional Japanese “End of the year big cleaning”. It ruins the holidays for me every year.

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Nice Beast Ludo
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What is the "end of year cleaning?" Sounds stressful. Do you have to do it for family obligations?

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#15

Christmas. I like celebrating it for my kids, but otherwise it's just super stressful.

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#16

if I don't do everything nothinhfor the holidays will be done.

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Neb Skram
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

than set up a xmas chore chart for everyone sit back and enjoy YOURSELF and if stuff don't get done point to the chart . it might take a couple years but i bet things will get better every year

#17

Gift shopping and putting away all the Christmas decoration!

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#18

I love my parents but visiting them is not good for my mental health (various past and present reasons), but staying home alone over the holidays gives me even more anxiety.

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Glen Ellyn
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hope you can find a nice Christmas movie to keep you company, or some nice holiday music that will soothe you somewhat.

#19

getting ready for all the events and stuff. having a whole aśs neighborhood talent show that you are performing in and emceeing in is rlly stressful(theres also a lil runway/fashion show too). i bet its even more stressful for the adults who actually plan the stuff and book the hall

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Ael
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Stressful, but I love that the neighbourhood comes together like that. Good reminder to arrange our neighbourhood Christmas get-together as well.

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#20

Are we talking triggers or causes?

Triggers: YOU probably, joy, food, waking up, working in a church, ads, crowds, Christmas music, ads, more ads, church gig IS music, leading it even though I'm pagan, food, ads, noise, working in the world's largest independent bookstore, a tourist attraction, with the expectation of college-level knowledge/customer service at minimum wage (because we're so lucky supposedly), food, traffic, ads, ads, ads, food, consumerism, food, loneliness, ads, and literal poverty. Did I mention ads and food!? Ads & food f*^%ing everywhere!!!

Causes: Who needs holidays when you're already diagnosed!? Anxiety, severe depressive disorder, SUDS, PTSD, and anorexia. Imagine facing every day starving. Hangry is all the time. You're either hungry or unhinged. Imagine every social situation that has anything to do with food, especially those you're expected to attend, can't face. Not just the last 5 weeks of the year, all the time. Now add terror, decision paralysis, and the disappointed guilt-laden expectations of family and friends, while you're sad & alone at home crying into the toilet. I'm a zero-budget craft wizard, just don't ask me to eat. Unsincerely, Happy Holidays 🖕😃

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Bec
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

For those who are estranged from family, or don't want to celebrate for whatever reason, I am sure it is tough to be bombarded with Christmas from October - Year's end.

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#21

Nothing at all! I love the Holiday Season! The food, the tree, the food, the snow, the food, the lights, the food and the films of the holiday season. We don't give each other gifts, we make donations instead. And when the holiday season is over, I have the blues, I'm sad. But hey, it’s coming back next year! HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!

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Vonny
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Same to You! It's so nice to read about the donations you make. Such an uplifting way to celebrate holidays. To give, without expecting to receive is commendable. Not just at holidays. And if things don't go to plan for the Christmas "deadline" we've always stretched the holiday through Epiphany ( Jan. 6th ). A gift given, or received, on the 6th is just as treasured as it would be on the 25th.

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#22

Lack of money, inability to make money (am disabled), it's a whole year anxiety but gets worse around holidays.
For this year specifically, my own Christmas gift, I always choose what people will gift me but for this year all I want is out of budget. Also my partner's gift, I had a nice idea but s**t happened that left me traumatized and I'm currently not able to do anything besides stare into the wall and play simple games (even more complex games I'm struggling with) which is hurting me a lot cause I hate not doing anything and also can no longer make that gift but I also don't wanna drop the idea.

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Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Like literally I've been spending my days playing Neopets and Hearthstone and when I get tired of those all that's left is cry and complain because I'm too traumatized to do anything but also not doing anything drives me insane (I feel useless and like I shouldn't be alive whenever I'm not doing something).

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#23

The Reason for the Season being totally lost in a sea of consumerism.

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Glen Ellyn
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Amen! I'd like to see more of folks just relaxing and being with family instead of shopping, shopping, shopping, because it's all about the gifts! 😩

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#24

I personally don't like how my little siblings act like morons near things such as Christmas because I KNOW they're gonna cry without presents. also I don't like the 4th of July due to the fact we go to one of my extended family member's farm and light the fireworks, but I have pyromaniac cousins who make A PILE OF BURNING FIREWORKS NEAR GRASS. making me think that it'l catch, I've also almost gotten shot by a tank firework... not as bad as my dad had once. to top it all off for 90% of the holidays we go to my great uncle's house. not so bad right? WRONG! the house may be big but MAN is it unfinished. there's a room that's just beams. the place also gets attacked by trash pandas ( racoons ). I have severe anxiety about this stuff.

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Nice Beast Ludo
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What is WRONG with them? Start faking terrible flu symptoms in advance and stay the f**k home before you end up in a burn ward

#25

The unwritten, unavoidable law that it has to be going to be the most wonderful, best holiday ever!!!

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Vonny
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Griswold Family Christmas vibes. I just watched National Lampoons Family Christmas movie again last night, while balancing 3 checkbooks for others who can't do their own right now, and I laughed out loud, again. I've seen that movie dozens of times and can relate to every part of it. I recommend it to everyone. Have a laugh, relax, be thankful for the smallest things and enjoy the real reason for the season.

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#26

the pressure of finding the perfect gifts, the challenge of balancing family expectations, or perhaps the stress of hosting events.


ALL OF THAT👆

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#27

Financial stress due to buying gifts and groceries for the holiday season.
Not being enough

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#28

I lost way too many people around the holidays. My friend xmas eve, my grandma (I was talking care of her, end-stage cancer) dec 29th, my mom (also took care of her til she was hospitalized, end-stage cancer, could've passed at home but we were living at my sister's and she didn't want a hospital bed in her living room because "it's tacky!) Jan 2nd, my friend Jan 3rd. I'm a wreck til mid January. But because I can't let it affect my family or ruin it for my kid, I have to keep it all bottled up inside. And then there's my inlaws constantly belittling and fighting with my husband but xmas day we have to pretend everything is perfect and trade cheesy gifts that will never get used. It's just so much stress and anxiety.

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Glen Ellyn
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm so sorry you've suffered so many losses around the holidays. How awful for you. I hope you know you're not alone in dreading this time of year.

#29

Sending Christmas cards. I have stopped sending them and have found I can live with guilt easier than the anxiety.
Merry Christmas everyone!

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Ael
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I used to send so many cards! And yes, it was fun but also so much work, so there was the guilt and anxiety. Then one day I realised how few of those people sent cards back. So I stopped. Now I write maybe 5 cards for people who really enjoy getting them, and it's so much better! Plus always 1 or 2 cards to people who wouldn't expect them, like a workmate or a shop I'm a regular at. That's always nice, too.

#30

Hoping people don't go to my door and start singing(Christmas) or asking for candy(Halloween).

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Abbelius
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2 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I mean, in both cases you don't "have to" open the door. Or even go to it, for that matter.

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#31

Holiday performances
I have like 10 this month (*incoherent screaming*)

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CringeGuy
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2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I despise the performances I have to do. At some point, my band was dragged out into the middle of the streets and we had to play holiday songs. It was torture.

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#32

I never get anxious lol, this year i have to study for a exam rewrite in January tho

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#33

Peasach
SO MUCH CLEANING and I only really have spring break to get it done, unless Peasach is the first week of spring break.

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Nice Beast Ludo
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I just googled what that is. Sounds really stressful and a lot of different rules. Do you look forward to it as well?

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#34

the Holidays is what gives me holaday anxiety and shopping this time of the year so i just amazon everybody

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#35

I'm retail management. I have anxiety issues with being in crowded spaces. this is not ideal.

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#36

I’m so overwhelmed. I’m not ready and can’t seem to get into the spirit of the thing. I’ll be working long hours through the holidays. I’m a widowed mum of two adult kids with disabilities and I also have my own disabilities. It all feels too hard. I can’t afford it and I just don’t want to deal with it this year. I miss my mum who I lost a few years after my husband and I tend to feel so alone at this time of year.

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#37

Well, because my brain is messed up, eating food makes me anxious so there's that whole mess, and on top of that I have to handle all the people and the noise and the family and I do not like it

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#38

Family gatherings. Especially with people I swear I’ve never met before in my entire life. Like, who’s this? Last time you saw me was when I was born? Yeah, okay.

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#39

My BF has a perfect pitch. Also, flashy and blinky things make him overwhelmed. On top of that, he's from an artistic family and Kitch makes him uncomfortable in general. Every time he has to go out during the holiday season it's torture for him.
That makes me anxious as well because we have to reorganize our lives in such a way that he can avoid going to "christmasy" places as much as possible.

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#40

for winter holidays? (my family celebrates Christmas) probably thinking of a wish list and getting it to people on time, and then buying people gifts.
And getting late work done before the semester ends.

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#41

...Holidays.

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#42

This is quite insignificant compared to other additions on here, but being nostalgic honestly makes me so anxious, and Christmas, especially summer here in Aus, brings about a wave of nostalgia that I absolutely hate. I also tie smells and songs to certain memories (I've never known why), which makes it even worse to smell the scent of flower that bloom around this time and hearing christmas songs, cuz it is just a constant reminder of past memories, and even if theyre good memories i can never cope with the weird feeling of nostalgia.

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#43

All the planning, decorating, gift buying etc..

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#44

Receiving gifts - I have everything I need and having to incorporate more "stuff" in my already full house, makes me want to scream. Please, don't buy me anything!

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#45

My son repeatedly asking me how many days until Christmas!

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#46

People, too many people

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#47

(I hope she doesn't read this) When my sister insists that she doesn't want to do more than one get together with family, so pushes my dad outside his comfort zone to have dinner with us and my mum and step dad, but then gets offended because I didn't ask her to come to celebrate with dad at my house on Christmas day as well.

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#48

Travel. I live almost three hours from my family and have to drive through white out conditions, icy roads, and wildlife zones to visit. And yet, my in-laws, extended family, and immediate family expect me to be present at all six Christmas events. In total, I drive about 800 miles in three days. The stress makes it not worth it!

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